Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the company responsible for popular video games such as the "Grand Theft Auto" series, said Friday that the CEO hired to turn the company around will step down to travel in Asia with his family.
Ben Feder's resignation is effective Jan. 1, though he will remain a partner in ZelnickMedia, the private equity firm that manages Take-Two under an agreement with the company's board of directors. Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two's executive chairman, will take on the additional role of CEO.
"Now that the company is in a position of strength and is poised for solid performance in the future, the time is right for me to honor certain commitments that I have made to my family," Feder said in a statement.
When Feder, 46, joined the company in 2007, Take-Two was struggling from a string of quarterly losses as well as accounting troubles and controversy surrounding the violent and sexual content of "Grand Theft Auto." Last month, the company reported that it reversed a loss from a year ago as revenue more than tripled, and it raised guidance for the year.
Moreover, there's evidence that the company is less dependent on cash cow "Grand Theft Auto" than it once was. Last month, the company attributed its strong revenue to sales of a different game, "Red Dead Redemption," which is the second best-selling game of 2010, according to the latest sales figures from research firm NPD.
The company also said last month that it expects to report a profit for the full year. That would be the first time in about a decade it's done so without the help of the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise. The fourth, and most recent, installment of "Grand Theft Auto" went on sale in 2008.
Shares increased 28 cents, or 2.75 percent, to $10.47 in midday trading Friday.